How to market a professional services business – Alex Curtis Episode 43

professional services

Here’s why it’s time to take off your mask and show people the human side of your professional services industry…

Car insurance and remortgages are not the most sexy services to sell but people still need them nevertheless. If you’re looking to generate more leads in the professional services industry, the same rules apply, whether you’re trying to sell a 5-star holiday, a Christmas hamper or a new life assurance plan.

The number one thing to remember is that people like to do business with someone they can trust. That’s why, no matter what your area of expertise may be, the relationship must come first.

Alex Curtis, from The Lead Engine financial marketing agency, explains why it’s time to take off the mask and show people your human side. Here’s what he says:

Everyone loves a specialist!

People feel safer if they think you are a specialist in an area. That’s why we have specialised in financial services although the principles remain the same for any industry.

People buy from people.

The relationship is arguably more important than the product when it comes to selling. The internet provides a way for us to do this on autopilot – podcasts, blogs, they all help to build a relationship with potential customers.

Give information without expectation.

The best strategy for creating content is to find out what questions people are asking about your industry, and then provide the answers. Take a look at SEM rush – you put in whatever it is you do and you can then discover what questions and the amount of times people are asking them on Google each month. Then you can build your content around the answers.

Stop the sales pitch.

When I stopped putting a call to action at the end of my marketing I started to get more enquiries. That’s because people could see there was no ulterior motive – it was just me sharing information and helping people. I’ve never once pitched our agency on a podcast or Facebook group chat.

You are your biggest advantage.

As a solopreneur, you have an advantage over larger faceless organisations. Take off the mask and put your face to your brand. Some people will really like you and others won’t, but you’re giving people the personal touch. The more people know you the more they will want to do business with you. When I changed the hero banner on my website to one that showed me, it literally changed the next day – people felt they could trust me because I was willing to put my face to my business.

People are looking for someone genuine.

The more natural you are – on camera or in your writing – the more people will feel they can trust you. But it’s not about what you look like on camera – it’s how you come across. This is not something you can do over night – it took a while, but every month I’ve become more ’me’ with each podcast I’ve done. If you hate going in front of the camera, I suggest you just film for yourself every day for a month without sharing anything. Don't be put off by the first 10 because they will be rubbish! Then you can start posting. However, don't expect people to jump on your first post – they will want to build a relationship with you first.

Choose social media that works.

For advertising I use Facebook ads. This works because I’ve already created audiences on there which I can target, whether that’s people looking to remortgage or discuss car finance or life insurance etc. However, Facebook has strict guidelines when it comes to financial promotions so make sure you’re clued up.

Get your advertising campaign right.

Always set up a specific campaign for each group of customers you want to target. I suggest not doing promotional ads but to focus on a content strategy – information giving rather than sales promotions. So again, it’s about answering those questions without expectation – the less ‘salesy’ you are the better it will be for you in the long run.

Go for the personal touch.

In an interesting experiment, I created two fictional brands – Eddie the bridge loan expert (which included blogs and lots of info) and Titon Mortgages (which was generic and used stock images). I put them next to each other in my Facebook group and asked people to choose who they’d contact. Everyone wanted to speak to Eddie! That’s not really surprising – we instinctively know the personal approach is the best route but it's the fear of doing it that is hard.

Know your Facebook Group:

Being in a Facebook Group feels like a safe place where people can chat to each other and where I can feel safe enough to do some lives. Now I’ve had some conferences and met a lot of the people in person too it’s like a comfort blanket of having people in your tribe. You can only really do that if you become a specialist in your industry.

More about Alex

Starting his digital marketing career part-time whilst still at university in 2004 Alex worked for 2 digital marketing agencies until 2014 when he started his journey as a freelance digital marketing consultant.

Struggling for 3 years offering digital marketing services like web design, SEO and PPC for anyone and everyone he decided to specialise, become the face of the business and create regular content to help his customer rather than sell to them.

Since then The Lead Engine team has grown, working with far more businesses and bigger clients making a name for themselves as one of the top digital marketing firms in the financial services industry.

Alex hosts The Lead Generation For Financial Services Podcast and Facebook community of the same name. His company runs two annual marketing masterclass events called The Financial Services Brand Accelerator and an online membership for financial services professionals called The Lead School.

The Lead Engine is a lead generation marketing agency for financial services. Traditionally brokers and advisors either rely on introducers, referrals or buy leads from third party websites. With either a lack of knowledge or feel like they are bogged down by compliance, small to medium-sized broker firms rarely market their own business and brand to generate leads. The Lead Engine was formed to disrupt this trend and help financial services companies generate warmer leads for a lower cost using their own brand and website.


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